Friday, August 26, 2016

Box Break - 2014 Panini Hall of Fame - Box 2

Time to share my second of two boxes from a late 2015/early 2016 purchase of a pair of 2014 Panini Hall of Fame boxes.  If you missed the first one, you can find it here.

I will start again with the base cards, again with 2 cards numbered to 75 and one to 50.  Some pretty good star power here with 2 of the hardest throwers ever and a great hitter from early in the 20th century.

I got a pair of Diamond Kings, with the Bert Blyleven serial numbered 47/75.  Still a fan of this design.  The Crusade cards are nice as well and to me the Bench with the red surrounding it looks pretty awesome.

I ended up with 2 Elite series cards in this box with the Gibson being a parallel /25.  I was pretty excited to get a player collection guy in Rickey Henderson for my Dominator card.  These are great looking cards.

Now onto the hit portion of the box, I got an extra one in this box and it contained something a little sparkly in it:
A Wee Willie Keeler Gem Stone numbered 10/10!  Keeler had a 19 year career.  He spent 5 years each with Brooklyn and Baltimore along with 7 years with the Yankees and just 2.5 with the NY Giants.  Since any logos are missing on this Panini card and there is no indication of which New York team he is depicted on, I declare this a Giants card and make it a part of my Giants collection!

I still have the 2 HOF Autos to go...

First up is HOF Starter/Reliever Dennis Eckersley.  I love the look of his wind blown hair in the photo on this picture.  As I stated in box 1, I really like the design of these cards.

My final card of this break was a little bit of a disappointment as it was a duplicate auto from one I got in box 1, former Red Sox LF Jim Rice.  I like Rice a lot, back in the 80s I started player collecting him but stopped as I was going after too many players to keep track of.  This auto is actually serial numbered 01/46 so technically it is a different card but I was hoping to score at least one auto in these two box breaks that didn't already reside in my collection.

Regardless of not picking up a new to me HOF auto, I was pretty happy with this break.  These were priced pretty well and it never sucks to pull HOF player autos.  I am hoping that some sort of HOF release happens this year as well.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Nice Going Away Gift From Royals and Randoms

Shortly before I moved, Josh over at Royals and Randoms dropped me a note to see if I had moved yet or not.  He said he had some cards to send over my way.  Luckily, my family hadn't moved yet but I was already working in KC.  Josh swung by the house (I think it might have been when the movers were there) and dropped a bubble mailer in my mail box.  Josh moved near by me a while back and we never got a chance to connect face to face.  With my move being unexpected and my travel to KC almost immediate once I got the new job, I never imagined I would be leaving the area so quickly.

The package was waiting for me right before we took our trek across the country and it was filled with some excellent stuff, take a look.

First up are these oversized 1997 Strat-O-Matic cards:
I didn't know that this set existed and love the fact that the cards have the player photos on them.  I should take some time to figure out if a checklist exists that might show what is out there.  I haven't had the urge to pick up Strat-O-Matic game cards that don't have photos but really like these.  Very cool oddball.

Most of my blog focuses on baseball cards and much of my player collecting attention focuses on my SF Giants collection.  Josh is one of the great bloggers who helps feed my USC Trojan collection and included 5 relic cards in this package:

All 5 of these are of star players where they were at USC and despite a pretty expansive USC relic collection, I needed 4 of these 5 in my collection.  I can't remember a time that a random group of cards so fit my needs.  My favorites here are the Lee and Jarrett cards, USC has a pretty awesome lineage of great college Wide Receivers starting back around the time of Keyshawn Johnson where there are at least 1-2 star WRs on the roster at a time and Lee and Jarrett are two of the best I have seen.  I would say only Mike Williams is on par with them.

 Josh also include a couple non-card items that I really like:

I have no idea where he tracked this down but it is a pull string for a ceiling fan with a Giants branded baseball as the pull item.  I have it up on my ceiling fan in my new card room and it adds just a perfect touch of Giants to the middle of my room.

An finally...
 A cool little figure of former Giants 3rd baseman Pablo Sandoval.  At times I question how these figures compare in likeness to the actual player.  There is no doubt this one is spot on as my 9-year-old son came into my room, picked it up looking only at the face and said "Cool, Pablo!" and set it back down.  This is my first figurine of this type featuring a Giant and will have a nice place on my display shelf.

Josh, thanks so much for the going away gift.  I am been pulling a few nice Royals and live in Royals town now so I will get you a return package out one of these days. If there is anything specific you are looking for to fit into your Royals collection, let me know.  There is a pretty solid LCS pretty close to me.

Monday, August 22, 2016

McCovey Monday #86 - Two 2013 Panini America's Pastime Front-Row Fabrics Dual Relic Booklets

My favorite player of all time is Hall of Famer Willie McCovey.  I have amassed a collection of over 1200 different  McCovey cards since I started collecting him in the late 1980s.  I will show off one of my favorite cards every Monday.  Stretch was one of the most feared hitters of all time and I am excited to show off my collection.

My last McCovey Monday post showed off a booklet that I have had in my collection for a few years.  Today I am showing off my 2 newest McCovey booklets, 2 versions of the same dual relic.

The first is what I would consider the base version of the booklet as it is numbered the highest, 57/59.  Not only does it feature Willie Mac but it has a nice big jersey swatch of Juan Marichal.  This is a pretty solid design with some seats and a brick wall in the background and nice large pictures in the foreground.   What I really like is the home plate shaped relic piece.  Also the jerseys appear to be of the old fashion material type.

Here is the inside and outside of the first:

Here is the second booklet, this one is numbered 11/25:
There isn't much difference in the cards that I can detect.  The home plate and player names of the front of the booklet are a different color.  The numbering is of course different and in the case of these two relics you can see some different wrinkling in Marichal's jersey and some different stitching in McCovey's.

I was able to score the booklet /59 for $5 plus shipping which I thought was a great deal. The one /25 put be back less than the price of a blaster.  There is a version /15 out there that I will keep my eyes open but don't plan on breaking the bank for it as I am quite happy having these two in my Stretch collection.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Hall of Fame Auto - Travis Jackson

During my time away from blogging and as I prepped for and made my move half way across the country I still spent my typical monthly card stipend but instead of focusing on base cards and set building, I sought out some higher end cards.  One area I focused on was autographs of Hall of Famers.

I set up some eBay searches for some of the old time Giants Hall of Famers as a starting point and one of the first I picked up was this beauty of HOF SS Travis Jackson:

The cut auto here is a pretty nice representation of his signature - nice and bold, decent sized and pretty well centered.  I am curious as to the purpose of the "No pictures" written about his signature, maybe this was a note back to a fan after a request came in for an autograph and picture.  The card design is fine, allowing the auto to be the star with hand printed numbering right above the nameplate that also gives Jackson's birth and death years.  As you can see the card is encased in a one touch with a Panini sticker sealing it.

A little about Jackson's career.  He played his entire 15 year career with the New York Giants debuting in 1922 and retiring in 1936.  He was primarily a Shortstop playing 1326 of his career 1635 games at the 6.  He also played 307 games at Third Base and a game at Second Base and two in the Outfield.  Jackson was a career 0.291 hitter with 135 home runs.  His OPS was 0.770.  Based on some advanced defensive metrics that didn't exist during his day he seems to grade out as one of the better Shortstops in the league.  His HOF plaque starts off with "Premier defensive shortstop who swung productive bat, known for outstanding arm and exceptional range afield".  His defensive prowess earned him the nickname of Stonewall.  He received MVP votes in 7 of his seasons.

Jackson was enshrined into the Baseball Hall of Fame by a Veterans Committee vote in 1982.  He had never gotten higher than 7.3% of the vote by the Baseball Writers.  In reviewing his stats he seems like a borderline HOFer to me but when you see quotes like:

"The greatest bunter I ever saw. " - Casey Stengel 
 “In all the years I watched him, playing with him and against him, I never saw him make a mistake,” - Rogers Hornsby
when reading his HOF page, maybe there is something to this guy being in the HOF.  If you weren't aware, each HOFer has a page on the National Hall of Fame website and they usually contain some cool stuff.  In the case of Jackson, you can watch his 6 minute and 34 second induction speech from back in 1982. 

This is another great pickup for both my Giants and my HOF Auto collection.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Just For the "F" of It #7

My collection of Just For the "F" of it cards continues to grow but I have gotten behind on my posts.  I have taken more of a liking to buying singles or sets as opposed to breaking wax which has made my budget go further with cool singles that I collect just for the "F"un of it.

For long time followers, you may remember that my second JFTFOI was an autograph card of a famous competitive eater.  While I am still a Joey Chestnut fan, my newest favorite competitive eater is Matt Stonie.  I was pretty excited when I was watching some Youtube breaks and saw Stonie included in the 2016 Leaf Sports Heroes sets so I waited patiently on eBay for a low price and added this to my collection:

The reason Stonie has risen to the top of my competitive eaters list are his entertaining youtube videos.  My sons and I enjoy watching his videos together with some favorites being his hard boiled eggs challenge, his Cinnamon Toast Crunch challenge and the Burritozilla conquest. Check them out.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Box Break - 2014 Panini Hall of Fame - Box 1

I bought 2 boxes of 2014 Panini Hall of Fame quite a ways back, definitely before my move.  As I was organizing and packing up I caught some scans of the cards with a plan to write up some posts while traveling back and forth between CA and KS but that never happened.

I figure that since the cards were scanned and I love me some Hall of Famer cards, this could be another better late than never post.

If you aren't familiar with this product, it is one of those 1 pack/box deals.  All of the cards are of Hall of Famers, there are tons of parallels and many of the cards are serial numbered. Also each pack/box guarantees two Hall of Famer autographs.

First up is what I guess would be considered the base cards, although there are several different parallels with different colors.

These really didn't scan too well, they look much better in hand.  Nothing too exciting for me here but  I am a fan of the design.  Of course being a Panini product we don't get any logos but to me probably only the Duke suffers much from this.

Next up are some Diamond Kings inserts.

These look fantastic in my opinion. They have some great detail in the facial features and look enough, but not too much, like a painting.  From a player standpoint, I wouldn't say these are my favorite HOFers but I am a fan of the Walter Johnson card.

Here are 3 other insert sets.  If I am not mistaken, the Crusade parallel has been used in other sports as well.  A very regal design.  I believe the Stengel is the unnumbered base and the Ripken is a parallel but I haven't found the box these are in yet so that is just a guess since the numbering for the Crusade cards is on the back.  The Elite Series and Dominator were in prior Donruss releases and I enjoy both designs.  The Banks card is my favorite here, great photo with him smiling while signing a baseball.

Finally my two autos:

I would characterize these two hits as solid but not spectacular.  I was hoping to score some autos that I didn't already have in my collection but that wasn't the case. I think I may now have multiples of both.  I do really like the design from this set with the head shot hovering over the museum and the auto are on card.  These will most likely stay in my collection.

Overall a good box and if I recall the price point was nicely discounted over the original release price. Stay tuned for what Box 2 has in store.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

My Only 2016 Topps Chrome Pack Purchases

I really haven't had that huge itch to bust packs, at least packs of new releases.  I shared my National Baseball Day card purchases a few days back which included 2 packs of 2016 Topps Chrome.  I was at Target a couple days ago and 3 hangers of Chrome were staring me in the eye and I had to pick them up.  It was fun but in the end I was bummed I spent $30 on these when I could have picked up some Giants needs or vintage set needs (or heck maybe even a T206 card - a little foreshadowing) for that price or less.

I have a lot of catching up to on the blog but want to mix in some of my newer stuff as well so I figured why not show off the goods:

Hanger 1
 2 Dodgers, 2 Blue Jays, 2 Mets and Zero Giants... Bummer.
 I have to say the inserts look pretty darn nice.  I like the stained glass look of the Future Stars and the Perspectives cards look amazing in Chrome.  I think I may try to put together the insert set of Perspective cards.

The reason the hangers call out to me is the 5-pack of pink parallels.  A few good players but no Giants.

Hanger 2
2 Cubs, 2 Rangers, Zero Giants... Bummer
 Some more awesome looking inserts and a refractor of one of the more over-hyped players this year.

 Some more solid players of the Pink variety but still nothing of the good guys in Orange and Black.

Hanger 3
 Yeah!  My final hanger produces my one and only Giant!
 Double the pleasure with 2 Perspectives cards in this hanger and speaking of pleasure, Nina Agdal is not hard on the eyes at all.
 More pink card and again no Giants. I was hoping for at least one but as a consolation prize, the last hanger spit out this:
Not my favorite player but an nice looking on card auto /25 from a hanger.  A pretty awesome hit and most likely the end of my Chrome pack purchases for the year.

Outside of the Samardzija and the Perspectives cards these are all up for trade.  If you see something you want, drop me a note.